MoS highlighted a couple of things this week which warrant a bit of attention.
Early last week it was announced that Harper's EnviroCan was relocating its Pacific emergency oil spill operations to Quebec which a suspicious mind might connect somehow to Harper's insane obsession with ramping up British Columbia's probability of massive oil spills from his bitumen oil tanker initiative.And then over at Dawg's, there's a link to this piece of interest. What does the Chinese propaganda minister have to do with us?
But Quebec wasn't far enough for the Canadian navy Acoustic Data Analysis Centre (Pacific) that collects and analyzes acoustic intelligence from the Pacific Ocean. ADAC-P is now being shut down and moved to, wait for it, Halifax. Just as British Columbia's emergency oil spill problems are to be left to a team in distant Quebec, so our Pacific naval intelligence can be left to the Atlantic Command.
Like the Northern Gateway, there's a strategic purpose to all this. One does not reduce local oil spill response capacity at the same time one is forcing through a massive new oil pipeline and export facility. Reason would suggest the two go hand in hand. Throw in dishonesty about navigation safety for the 300 000 ton tankers that would navigate to Kitimat, and one has to start thinking the unthinkable.
If I were to hypothesize, all of this centres on turning Canada into THE Chinese resource storeroom mixed with the Harper scorched-earth/play-the-system-against-itself MO for getting things done. The growth potential for China is massive, and in the eyes of power-fetishist like the present prime minister, there is no place quite like that state. Canada's comparative advantage of being a sparsely populated (by China standards) landmass full of oil, trees, and minerals is like no place on Earth. Russia, the South American continent, and Africa are politically complicated.
Russia is nationalist, well armed, and has its own sphere of influence in Europe, which makes unsuitable for China to even attempt to exploit. South American and Africa are multistate and politically volatile. Chinese investment in the latter especially is high, but a rapid shift in government or the disintegration of a state could see China evicted overnight.
Canada is simple and wealthy, under a leader with a style the Chinese might appreciate. With his demonstrated willingness to subvert democracy and crush dissent in order to consolidate power. Morever, he is willing to dismantle obstacles, like environmental assessment, that get in the way of resource access.
By stripping protections against oil spills, the government is ramping up the chances of losing control of such a spill. If a spill happens and cannot be effectively mitigated, that portion of the coastline can be written off and used indefinitely without issues. There's no ecosystem left to protect and the livelihoods of a few fishers and foresters and the cultural value of the landscape means nothing to the wealth and power that comes with oil.
I don't know what goes on at Pacific naval intelligence but common sense would suggest relocating the geographically-specific centre to different ocean speaks to some serious reduction in capacity and experience of local conditions. This could mean the loss of capacity to know what goes on above and below the waves off our coastline. It's not like you could just wander over to the sub or frigate skipper's office if you needed to talk about something important. Who would want to study our coastline or benefit from increased capacity to operate on this side of the Pacific unnoticed? If the Americans have a problem with it they've got resources and its a opportunity for Harper's Canada to play two co-dependent rivals off each other.
What I've said here is speculation. I don't really know why they're doing what they're doing, but I'm convinced there's calculation to the madness. These people have convictions and visions for Canada that are alien to many of us, and reprehensible to anyone but them.